“But Tell Me What It Feels Like” @ SOMArts – May 4-6, 2018



I will be participating with amazing collaborators on a new piece Submission in Five Acts with flutist/curator Sarah Cargill, conductor Melissa Panlasigui, and performer Indira Allegra in a performance festival at San Francisco venue, SOMArts on May 4-6. The festival also features the second performance of my piece for performer, bass flute, and video – The trauma you keep safe is the pain you pass along.

Get your tickets HERE!

About the piece:

How do we undo corporeal memory that keeps us bound to old pain, narratives, and power struggles? How do we use craft to relate differently to one another? [Submission in Five Acts] seeks to unravel the power structures that are replicated and imbedded in ensembles [and classically-based performance practices].

About the festival:

But Tell Me What It Feels Like features new and developing works by queer of color composers, performance artists, dancers, musicians and sound healers. The festival grounds itself in the theoretical framework articulated by black lesbian feminist poet and activist Audre Lorde in her essay, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic As Power. While the erotic can and does allude to queer sexualities, sensuality and touch, it is also a point of reference through which artists and audiences alike are invited to locate a well of deep-seated bodily wisdom. “By accessing the erotic, we witness a radical transformation of the mundane, where daily actions and decisions come to reflect one’s capacity for feeling, connection, desire, and unwavering pursuit of fully present embodiment. It is through this commitment to the erotic that we allow space for our bodies — our lives — to be animated by nothing less than joy,” Cargill notes in reference to the inspiration behind her curatorial debut.

Royaumont: Voix Nouvelles 2016

I arrived at the abbey at Royaumont almost three weeks ago for the storied Voix Nouvelles program where I received the opportunity, along with 13 other talented composers to compose for different instrumental configurations made up of the amazing ensembles Talea  and EXAUDI. I was asked to write a piece for the six members of EXAUDI who were at the residency: Natalie Raybould (soprano), Lucy Goddard (mezzo), Tom Williams (countertenor), Stephen Jeffes (tenor), Gareth John (baritone), and Simon Whiteley (bass). The past two weeks of rehearsals and hang has been incredible and extremely fun. The food’s been fantastic and the weather nearly perfect. Today (September 7) is my birthday and the best present I could ask for will the exciting premiere of SAFE on Friday’s Voix Nouvelles concert! If you’re around the Île de France area, come on by!

Manifeste-Academie 2016: Part 2, Ensemble intercontemporain

So, I’m actually back at home in sunny Oakland, California after spending a couple of weeks after Paris in Berlin and running around Norway. During the second week of the ManiFeste Academy, I had the supreme pleasure of working with some of the soloists of the Ensemble intercontemporain on a short piece called SKRWL for chamber ensemble. The soloists — Alain Billard, clarinets; Benny Sluchin, trombone; Hidéki Nagano, piano; Claire Merlet, viola; and Pierre Strauch, cello — were outstanding to work with. They were open to trying new things, giving me suggestions for how to improve certain playing techniques, and just in general, really laid back folks to work with. Benny was especially nice to work with as my trombone part transformed from the beginning of the week to the end. I also want to give a shout-out to composer Rebecca Saunders who was a generous and thoughtful rehearsal “coach,” sitting-in on all of the young composers’ rehearsals, offering her own suggestions and helping us to efficiently run our numerous rehearsals. It really was a treat and a luxury to work with these amazing people and present a concert with them at the end of the week. Overall, my experience at the ManiFeste Academy was enriching and enjoyable…every composer should try to attend  if they can.

Stay tuned for the recording of SKRWL on my SoundCloud (and on this site)!

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Manifeste-Academie 2016: Part 1, L’Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France

Last Saturday, June 25th, I had the pleasure of having had a piece read by one of the leading orchestras in Europe: l’Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. Under the supervision of Beat Furrer and conducted by Dylan Corlay, the orchestra brought my short but intense piece, surface | division to life — more like set fire to it (in a good way). On Friday, July 1st, the soloists of Ensemble intercontemporain will perform my chamber piece SKRWL for clarinet(s), trombone, viola, cello, and piano. It’s great to be back in Paris and to work with this marvelous musicians!!!

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Duo Cortona & the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project

Duo Cortona_CUSP-March 2016On Saturday, March 19, Duo Cortona will perform If only after you then me as part of a program hosted by the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project (CUSP), Princeton’s newest concert series dedicated to the elevation of modern art song composition. It will be performed alongside pieces by Kerrith Livengood, Kamala Sankaram, and Jeremy Rapaport-Stein as well as world premieres by Laura Schwendinger and Thomas J. Dempster.

You can find more info and a link to tickets at the CUSP Facebook event page.

Artist Delegation to Cuba: American Composers Forum at the Havana Contemporary Music Festival

After some time to reflect, I just want to say that my trip to Cuba with the American Composers Forum was one of the most fun and insightful, fulfilling and gnarliest experiences I’ve had as a composer and musician. It was an honor and a privilege to have been given this opportunity and I am so grateful to have met and worked with the members of Ensemble Third Sound (Thank you to Sooyun Kim, Michael Nicolas, and Karen Kim!) as well as the other fantastic composers and the ever-supportive patrons. I loved the late-nights, the warm conversation, and the even warmer weather. And most of all, my thanks to the hospitality and the generosity of the country that is Cuba and the city that is Havana—you’re crazy, I like you.


NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas writes an account of the Third Sound concert which saw the premiere of my piece Inexpressible v. 2 !

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN contributing editors Larry and Arlene Dunn give their experience of the concert and the trip!